Sexual Positioning Practices and Sexual Risk Among Black Gay and Bisexual Men: A Life Course Perspective
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Increased attention has highlighted the role of age and sexual development on HIV risk among Black MSM (BMSM); limited focus has been given to the relationship of sexual positioning to HIV risk along the life course. This study examined BMSM’s life course sexual positioning practices and accompanying HIV/STI risks. Twenty-six Black gay and bisexual men ages 24–61 completed life history interviews in Los Angeles, California, between September and November 2015. Thematic analysis evaluated domains including major life events, substance use, social support, and partner selection. Varying exposure to HIV treatment and prevention options and venues to meet male partners revealed generational differences in sexual risks. Childhood sexual abuse and internalized homonegativity impacted personal development, sexual positioning, and condom negotiation. BMSM also assumed sexual positioning using masculinity stereotypes and body language. Clarifying the sexual development and HIV/STI risk contexts among BMSM could better inform current treatment and prevention needs.
KeywordsSexual positioning Black MSM HIV risk STI risk Culture
We acknowledge and thank Greg Wilson and the staff at REACH LA for all their support as the research site for this study.
This research was funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (Award Year 2013). Additional support was also provided by NIDA grant K01 DA039767.
Complains with Ethical Standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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